My iPhone Wish List: A 4.0 Tally

By  |  Thursday, April 8, 2010 at 3:45 pm

14. Window-spawning control in Safari. Safari’s ability to keep up to eight pages open at once is mighty handy–but it becomes a hassle when your capacity is maxed out, and a link is trying to spawn a new window and can’t until you close an existing one. Given a choice, I might tell the browser to always open a new page in the same window unless I specify otherwise–possibly by tapping the link and holding. [NOT MENTIONED TODAY]

15. Hooks to allow the embedding of additional video players in Safari. Apple’s deal with YouTube means that you can play YouTube videos that show up on pages in Safari. Sites such as Joost and already have iPhone apps. How about letting them (and other sites such as Viddler and Vimeo) them enable Safari integration through some sort of API that permits their embedded videos to launch their apps for playback? [NOT MENTIONED TODAY–PRESUMABLY IT WOULD HAVE BEEN IF IT’S IN THE WORKS]

16. A Genius feature for the App Store. I’m shamelessly swiping this from TechCrunch’s MG Siegler–the App Store should analyze the programs you’ve installed and kept, and recommend others you might like. It might be tough to implement well (the fact you’ve downloaded one Twitter client doesn’t mean you’ll want half a dozen more), but it would be a boon for games, productivity apps, and other general categories where many of the store’s 50,000 apps languish in undeserved obscurity. [2010 thought: Apple added this last September.]

17. The ability to use any song as a ringtone. I guess Apple is still hoping we’ll repurchase all our music from the iTunes Store in ringtone form–although for reasons unknown, it does offer the ability to create custom ringtones from any track in Garage Band. Me, I sometimes want my phone to ring to a song that Apple won’t sell me at any price–like Don Ho’s version of “These Boots Are Made for Walking.” [NOT MENTIONED TODAY]

18. Automatic backup to the cloud. Which is something the Palm Pre does, helping to eliminate the need to connect the phone to a computer; if you ever need to recover an old version of your phone’s data, it can grab your backup across the Net and restore itself. Again, I’m in favor of anything that helps the iPhone behave like a stand-alone computer, not a computer perihperal.

19. Syncing plug-ins for third-party apps. As long as the iPhone does assume that you’ll frequently connect it to your computer and shuttle data back and forth, how about allowing any application to move data during the sync, as Palm’s old desktop software has done for ages? DataViz had to go as far as to write its own Mac and Windows document-syncing utility for Documents to Go, which is kind of silly. [2010 update: The iPad can do this, at least in a limited form–you can choose files to copy to a third-party app. I’m not sure if it’s available for the iPhone yet.] [NOT MENTIONED TODAY]

20. Energy Saver. On OS X, you can quickly adjust settings for longer battery life or better performance. How about an iPhone equivalent that lets you choose a low-power mode (dim screen, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi shut off, fast power off) or a more power-hungr, less restrictive one with a single click? [NOT MENTIONED TODAY]

21. 2G phone mode. I’m not sure if OS 3.0 solves this, but there are places where my iPhone 3G is unusable as a phone in 3G mode, and just fine in 2G mode–yes, I’m looking at you, Courtyard Marriott on Second St. in San Francisco. I’m still unclear on the virtue of making voice calls in 3G mode, so I’d like to have the opportunity to put the phone in 2G mode for voice while leaving it in 3G mode for data. [NOT MENTIONED TODAY]

22. Information on how much memory stuff takes up. If you try to download a piece of software from the App Store and don’t have enough space, your iPhone will politely tell you to delete some items to make room. What it won’t do is tell you how much space you need to clear, or how much your songs, videos, and programs eat up. Maybe it can display this information when you press and hold an application’s icon on the Home screen to go into delete/rearrange mode? [NOT MENTIONED TODAY]

23. Sensible settings. There’s no consistency among third-party apps as to whether they put their settings in the app itself, or tuck them away in the phone’s Settings screen. And even Apple’s own settings are a bit of a jumble, with some options sitting behind a “General” menu item and others out in the open. Which means I never remember where to look for what. It’s an odd aberration in an OS that’s wonderfully logical and consistent. I’d like to see Apple clarify how settings should be handled–I’m okay with almost any scenario as well as most applications do it the same way. [NOT MENTIONED TODAY]

24. iChat. At this point, I’m assuming that Apple is happy with third-party instant messaging clients–it’s invited both AOL and Meebo on stage at events to demo their wares–but it would still be good news if an iPhone version of OS X’s iChat showed up. Especially if it were integrated with the Messages application and offered (on the iPhone 3G S, at least) some form of video chat. [NOT MENTIONED TODAY]

25. GPS-based Wi-Fi. Okay, maybe this one is idiosyncratic. Maybe I’m the only one who wants it. But I like to use my iPhone’s Wi-Fi whnen I’m at home and within easy access to my recharging cable and to shut it off when I’m out and about and concerned about battery drain. My iPhone can use GPS to determine when I’m hanging around the house. Why not let it use that knowledge to turn Wi-Fi on when I’m there, and then shut it off when I hit the road? [NOT MENTIONED TODAY]



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4 Comments For This Post

  1. Juha Says:

    2G phone mode – this is most likely a network feature, depending on if your carrier runs a 2G (GSM/GPRS) and a 3G service. On Vodafone NZ the iPhone switches between 2G (900MHz) and 3G (2100MHz); incoming calls sometimes switch the phone out of 3G into 2G.

    Telecom NZ on the other hand operates a 3G WCDMA network in the 850MHz band, so the iPhone on that carrier stays in 3G all the time.

    As far as I know, you can’t run 2G and 3G at the same time, for voice and data and you probably wouldn’t want to do that either. 3G provides better voice quality through CODECs like AMR, simultaneous data/voice transmission, somewhat lower power usage, etc.

    Whether or not your carrier has all this set up in its network though, that’s another matter.

  2. John Baxter Says:

    There was no Mac OS 3.0. In those days, the System file had a version and the Finder had a version, and frustratingly they were usually out of sync.

  3. LonelyBob Says:

    Regarding 21. 2G Phone Mode, 2G/3G network has nothing to do with voice calls, 3G is only used for Data connections.
    If you’re in an area where there’s clearly no 3G network you can set the iPhone to stop scanning for 3G network, that will save some battery. Setting is at Settings -> General -> Network -> Enable 3G then turn it Off. The setting has been there since the iPhone 3G came out.

  4. Venski Says:

    Regarding item number 6 I’m not sure if I understand correctly what you mean, but my iPhone never locks itself. If I want it locked, I have to do it myself. You can check Setting->General->Auto lock and choose the number of minutes after which the phone locks, or you can choose “Never”.

    Once again, not sure if that’s what you mean, but just thought I’d point it out.


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